It’s always this time of year that I remember the passing of my good friend’s husband due to a brain tumor. The anniversary of his death occurs on my mother’s birthday — a strange dichotomy of sadness and celebration. When I saw Tom Jacobs’ story in the Pacific Standard recently about researchers finding possible ways to reduce or increase creative thought due to restrictions on the brain caused by a hematoma, it caught my attention, while the human brain was on my mind.
He writes that an Israeli research team studied a 46 year old accountant who suddenly began to draw in notebooks and felt the compulsion to create a painting a day while at the hospital after suffering a stroke. He had no previous artistic training. As his hemorrhage diminished from the stroke, so did his preoccupation for creating artwork. His impaired language returned and over the course of three years after the blood clot subsided, he was no longer able to draw. The researchers concluded that higher levels of creativity seem to occur in damaged areas of the brain, particularly in the left temporoparital frontal areas where this patient’s hematoma occurred. Although the study is not definitive, it is interesting to note the assertions as Tom Jacobs writes, “Nevertheless, if the Israeli researchers are right, it leads to fascinating speculation over whether we might somehow find a way to restrain, or re-train, that part of the brain that is prematurely dismissing our creative ideas. Preferably without suffering a stroke.”
Click here to read more details about this fascinating story.
Click here for the Dartmouth Roots of Creativity in the Brain — an intriguing study and resource for this colorful image.
Coincidentally, I saw this other Blood story about Britain’s commemoration of WWI with over 888,246 ceramic poppies on display and “spilling” out of London’s Tower. They represent the blood of each Commonwealth soldier’s life well fought and lost in WWI. The installation, Blood Swept Lands And Seas of Red, is now being dismantled but click the link to learn more — especially how Paul Cummins a ceramicist pitched the idea and with the help of set designer, Tom Piper, & The Tower of London and many volunteers, the exhibit was created. It has become so popular, you can no longer buy a poppy as a piece of artistic history.
Another important commemoration in recent news is the 25th year of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall. Something that is hard to forget when I saw it happen. Amazing to know that DC has its own piece of the wall on display.
I’m not sure if this last one still exists in Freedom Plaza, as the Virtual Tourist source was quite some time ago.